My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a book that I was looking forward to reading for a while, and it didn't disappoint.
The premise is that four pensioners have started meeting up to try and solve old murder cases, but within the first few chapters a murder takes place that they decide to solve for themselves - it seems to be linked to a slimy property developer who is trying to get a new housing estate built.
I found the main characters in this book likeable, and the only real problem was that there were so many side characters that I started to find it a bit hard to keep up, and I really had to pay attention to the number of subplots, including one involving a character who had lapsed into a coma, whose background was eventually explained.
I loved the fact that the book provided a lot of red herrings and plot twists, and only started having difficulty towards the end when I was constantly flicking back to refer to previous chapters; I felt a bit like I was getting overloaded with exposition near the end, and my brain was struggling to keep up.
The format reminded me of a few other contemporary novels I've read, particularly Linwood Barclay's promise falls series, as some of the chapters were written in third person narrative, but others were written in the form of a diary being compiled by one of the main characters. I wasn't sure of the precise reason, although it was good in giving insight into the mind of one of the characters.
Overall though, I thought this was a great debut novel, with a good mixture of humour and drama, and I loved how this book could be funny one moment and shocking or even tragic the next. The ending was very different from what I expected, too. It also appears that Richard Osman is writing a sequel, which I look forward to reading.
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